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52                    HISTORY OF PERSIA                  CHAP.
serving as their headquarters, until, weakened by divisions,
the bands broke up, to be eventually crushed by the
able general Muhallab, who as a reward was appointed
Governor of Khorasan.                                               *
The Rebellion of Ibn-al-Ashath, A.H. 80 (699).—During
the course of the campaigns beyond Sistan an Indian
monarch named Ratbil had defeated a Moslem force by
luring it into the defiles of what is now Afghanistan. To
avenge this humiliation, a powerful army was despatched
under Ibn-al-Ashath ; but he, conceiving himself unjustly
treated by Hajjaj, rebelled. Supported by his entire
army, he was welcomed everywhere, and the detested
Hajjaj fled from Basra, where the Pretender was received
as Caliph. Hajjaj, however, collected an army in Syria,
and Ibn-al-Ashath was defeated and escaped to Kerman.
Ultimately he took refuge with Ratbil, who to please
Hajjaj put him to death.
The Rebellion of Musa ibn Khazim.—The state of
anarchy which prevailed in Khorasan and the loose nature
of Arab authority make it almost impossible to give
within reasonable compass a consecutive and intelligible
narrative of events. They may be illustrated by the
career of Musa, son of Khazim. Owing to tribal feuds
he sought refuge at Samarcand, and he then obtained
possession of the province of Termez, which he ruled for
fifteen years. In the end he was attacked by a large
force and slain.
Death and Character of Abdul Malik.—The reign of
Abdul Malik, albeit a stormy one, marked the culminat-
ing point of the Omayyad dynasty. Successful on the
wholea he was undoubtedly an able ruler, with a con-
ciliatory policy, but he owed much to the brilliant abilities
of Hajjaj. The Arab chroniclers mention that during
his reign the Caliphate first minted a coinage, and also
that the accounts of the exchequer were first conducted
in Arabic instead of Persian, which must have involved
a serious loss of influence to the subject race.
The Campaigns in Central Asia^ A.H. 86-96 (705-714).
—Under Welid, the son and successor of Abdul Malik,
the Moslem arms penetrated farther and farther east-